Championship Game Updates

Congratulations to Green Bay for smoking the Seahawks in white-out conditions.  Congratulations to the New York Giants for smoking the #1 seed Dallas Cowboys at home.  I, for one, am looking forward to seeing a game in Lambeau at night, for that matter.  I’m sorry, but I don’t think the Giants have a chance in that situation.

On the flip side, congratulations to the San Diego Chargers for defeating the reigning Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts (twice for that matter this season) who will be meeting the overrated New England Patriots in Foxboro next Sunday afternoon for the big rematch/grudge match/revenge match, etc.

And once again, stay tuned for 1/30/08 when the Home Depot NFL MVP will be announced.  Kurt Warner is still in the running….get your votes in now fans!!


Post Season Tidbits

Cardinals‘ offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was approached by Bill Parcells’ to interview for the vacant head coaching job in Miami, has elected to stay in Arizona, and was rewarded with a nice raise.  While a head coaching job is something to which Haley does aspire, he says, “It is a tough thing to turn down. But it was an easy thing in that we have so much ahead of us here. That’s what really made it easier for me was the fact I saw what we have a chance to be.”

After the season ender against the Rams, Antrel Rolle earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week accolades, his second this season.  Steve Breaston, Karlos Dansby and Rod Hood all earned weekly honors this season, giving the Cardinals’ their highest number of weekly awards since 1998, when they earned 6.  Rolle is the first Card to win twice in one season.

Despite Matt Leinart’s season-ending injury earlier this year, Ken Whisenhunt has informed him that he will remain Arizona’s starting QB, with Kurt Warner #2. 

Calvin Pace, Bryant Johnson, and Karlos Dansby are all free agents next season.  While Pace and Dansby are confident the Cardinals will restructure their contracts for a mutually-lucrative future, Johnson knows his time in Arizona may be limited.  With Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin both due for restructured/upgraded contracts themselves, Johnson may be too expensive for the team, although Whisenhunt wants him to stay. 

Kurt Warner is still in the running for the Home Depot NFL MVP.  The winner will be announced January 30, 2008.

Kurt Warner

(Ssource: azcardinals.com)


Week 17 Post Game Report

Cardinals 48, Rams 19

Holy Sweet Arm of an Old Guy Batman!!  Way to go Kurt Warner (23/39, 300 yds, 3 TDs, 2 INTs) leading the Cardinals to a .500 season, not bad for new coach Ken Whisenhunt.  Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald snagged 2 TDs, Anquan Boldin grabbed one, and Edgerrin James (who has been severely under-utilized all season) rushed for 102 yds and a TD himself.

The DST stepped up as well, with 2 INTs by Antrel Rolle, one by Gerald Hayes, and 3 team sacks.

Granted, the game didn’t have playoff implications, but a division rivalry is always a heartfelt matter.  And finishing the season 8-8 after a year plagued with injuries and miscues, finishing the season on a high note does wonders for morale in the off season.

Happy New Year everyone!!

dansby-karlosdansbynet.jpg


Week 17 Pre-Game Rams (3-12) @ Cardinals (7-8) or “Can Ken Go 8-8 His First Year?”

Injuries have plagued both teams, creating a less-than-expected outing for each; however, the Cardinals can still save the season (relatively speaking) and finish at .500 with a win against the Rams at home.

St. Louis leads the series 30-25-2, but the Cards have won 3 of the last 4 meetings including week 5 with a Kurt Warner to Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald TD pass in the 4th quarter, to win 34-31.

Last week, Arizona narrowly escaped a very disappointing loss at the expense of the hapless Falcons, but Neil Rackers was spot-on with a game-tying FG and a game-winning one in OT.  Anquan Boldin had a stellar day, as did Warner (attempting – get this – 53 passes!)

The Rams weren’t quite as lucky, losing to the Steelers 41-24 at home, with tempers flaring on the sidelines.  It really wasn’t a pretty sight to behold.

Expect to see more of a running plan, at first anyway, as those 53 attempts by Warner (against the Falcons no less!) is just way too many.  As the Rams have given up an average of 115 rushing yds/game, expect more of an Edgerrin James show…at least in the beginning.

Although 8-8 isn’t really where the team wants to be, many of their losses this season were by 7 points or less; something encouraging for the team to take into the offseason and to build upon.  Although disappointing, and understandably so not knowing where the team may have ended up without the season-ending injuries to several players.  On the bright side, however, Warner has thrown 24 TDs this season (and that’s with tag-teaming several games and not even playing a few!) and is only 4 off the franchise record of 28 set by Neil Lomax in 1984 and Charley Johnson in 1963.  Not bad for the old guy, eh?  (And I do mean that in the highest regard.)

So go get em, guys!

The Edge

The Edge!  Coming to a stadium near you!

(Source: nfl.com)


WHEW!!! Week 16 Post Game

Cardinals 30, Falcons 27

For a struggling Neil Rackers, a last-second 29-yd FG to tie the game and a game-winning 31-yd one in OT was, indeed, an early Christmas present.

In addition to Rackers, both Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin had awesome days….Warner with 361 yds, 3 TD tosses and no INTs; while Boldin had 162 yds and 2 TDs.

It was a tough year for both teams; too many injuries for the Cards as well as injuries coupled with the sudden resignation of head coach Bobby Petrino last week for Atlanta; not to mention the whole Vick unpleasantness (and subsequent fines on Alge Crumpler and Roddy White for their “Free Vick” t-shirts they displayed last week during the game.)  Ken Whisenhunt was very empathetic and sympathetic to the Falcons’ plight….he actually interviewed for the top job before Petrino was hired. 

But back to the good stuff, and there was, indeed, some good stuff.  Boldin became the fastest player in NFL history to 400 receptions, doing so in his 67th game, beating hall of fame ex-Charger Kellen Winslow who did it in 72 games; and despite a lingering hip injury.  And Warner’s 24 TDs this season is the 3rd best in franchise history.  Both Bryant Johnson and Pro Bowl selection Larry Fitzgerald had key catches in the tying drive, leaving Rackers only 4 seconds to tie the game. 

The 7-8 Cards host the 3-12 Rams next week to end the season.

 Neil Rackers

Q

(Source: nfl.com)


Week 15 Pre Game – Falcons (3-11) @ Cardinals (6-8)

With both teams coming off losses last week, Atlanta to the Bucs and Arizona to the Saints (all but nullifying the Cards’ hope for postseason play, which was ultimately ended by Minnesota on Monday night), what, you might ask, is worth playing for?

First of all, Arizona has a shot at ending their season 8-8, which would be “a good thing” (a la Martha Stewart) for first year coach Ken Whisenhunt.  Secondly, the fans are going to want to show Pro Bowl selection Larry Fitzgerald their appreciation  for his sensational year. 

For the Falcons, I honestly have no idea.  Perhaps with Bobby Petrino’s immature departure, they might want to just get out there and play ball and try to end the season with some semblance of a high note.  Or, they might have their eye on a particular draft pick (but I seriously doubt a game would be thrown for that specific purpose…just ask Miami.)

Either way, “the show must go on.”

The Cardinals do lead the all-time series 13-10; however, the Falcons have won the last 4. 

Roddy White, along with 3 other Falcons, was fined for displaying his “Free Vick” t-shirt last week; hopefully, this week won’t be a repeat of that, er, embarrassing and unnecessary moment.  Furthermore, White needs just one little yard to earn his first 1,000 yd. season. 

The key matchup will undoubtedly be Fitzgerald vs. CB DeAngelo Hall, who has been a force to be reckoned with by WRs this season.

I will be at the game (thanks to the smokin’ deal I got on eBay for tickets) and will, hopefully, be able to offer some interesting insider information upon my return.

By the way, did you all catch the Home Depot Neighborhood profile of Kurt Warner (which I blogged about earlier this month) on NFL Network Tuesday night?  Talk about a fabulous role model and family man (and he’s quite the cutie as well!)  To vote for Kurt, click here.

Until then, Happy, Safe, and Healthy Holidays everyone and Go Cardinals!!

Fitz #11

(Pro Bowl hands.)

Warner

(Warner getting a little hot under the collar in Tampa Bay)


Player Spotlight: Larry Fitzgerald

I had been waiting for the perfect time to post this, and with Fitz’s Pro Bowl selection, I see now is the right time!

Some interesting factoids about superstar and Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald.

1.  Was born in Minneapolis, MN 8/31/83 (a Virgo, like me!)  He is only 6’3″ despite appearing much taller, especially in person.

2.  Was a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings where he hung out with (fellow 2008 Pro Bowl selection) Randy Moss and Cris Carter. 

3. During his college career at the University of Pittsburgh, he was hailed as one of the best WRs in college history, with 161 receptions, 2,677 yds, and 34 TDs (in only 26 games!)

4. Was the 3rd overall pick by Arizona in the 2004 NFL draft.

5. Made his first Pro Bowl in 2005 after a league-leading 103 catches for 1,409 yds and 10 TDs.

6. With teammate Anquan Boldin, they became only the 3rd receiving tandem in history to EACH catch 100 passes for over 1,400 yds apiece in a single season.

Fitz

(Sources: nfl.com, wikipedia.org)


Larry Fitzgerald Selected to Pro Bowl

Congratulations to Larry Fitzgerald, selected to the 2008 Pro Bowl as an NFC Starter!!

For the rest of the selections, click here.

Fitz #11


Oops!

Um, please ignore my last post.

BUT, the Cardinals can end the season 8-8, which would be great for Ken Whisenhunt.

I’m going to the game too, so I’ll be chock full of fun and games for the next few week’s blogs.


Cards Not Completely Out of Playoff Picture

With the Bears beating the Vikings at halftime (as I am writing this), the Cardinals’ hopes for postseason play are still there, albeit slightly.  If Chicago can hold on, Minnesota won’t clinch the final NFC wildcard spot just yet.  Arizona would still need a LOT of help, but the possibility is there; especially with their final two games at home vs. the very troubled Falcons and the streaky Rams, both winnable.  (Do I sound convincing enough?)

Seriously, it’s not that I don’t think the Cardinals can win their final two games; it would just be very, very strange for the other six teams involved to all lose their final two games.

But stranger things have happened.

(A personal note: I wish the Bears DST would have played like this all season, and maybe one of my fantasy teams might have made the playoffs.)

For the complete playoff picture thus far, read this.